Election match-ups set for June primaries

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Let the political season begin.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties in the county closed qualifying last week and are now in the process of certifying all candidates prior to the June 1 party primaries.
Two Republican candidates qualified for the sheriff’s race, Leighton Police Chief Ray Hayse and county resident Glen Demastus. Those were the only two Republicans to enter a county race, said Franklin County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Jerry Fancher.
Political newcomer, Jim Bonner, an instructor at Northwest-Shoals Community College, qualified to run on the Republican ticket against Sen. Roger Bedford in the state Senate race. Both Bonner and Bedford will be unopposed in the June primary.
On the Democratic ticket, Russellville City Councilman Jeff Masterson will challenge longtime state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow in the House District 18 race.
The race drawing the most attention this year is the sheriff’s race, where five Democrats are looking to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sheriff Larry Plott.
Franklin County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Brian Hamilton said the five men to qualify are: former Russellville Assistant Police Chief Robert Pace, Phil Campbell Police Sgt. Terrell Potter, Red Bay Police Lt. Mike Franklin, Russellville Police Capt. Shannon Oliver and Russellville businessman Scott Seal.
The two to qualify for the coroner’s race were former Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director John James and current coroner Elzie Malone, who operates Pleasant Bay Ambulance Service in the county.
Shannon Oliver, of Belgreen, qualified to run for the Franklin County School Board District 4 seat. He is running unopposed.
Current county school board member Billy Weeks faces Terry Welborn in the race for the District 2 school board seat.
No one qualified to run against current district attorney Joey Rushing.